How PBworks Is Different from Google Wave
Google Wave leverages a time slider for users to scroll back to various points in the editing process. While this is fine for multi-editing cases, it has its drawbacks; users can't search and see who did what easily without going through the entire session. "While it's good that Google Wave is out there drawing attention to this, we're really trying to tackle some of the issues that people are trying to solve not with Wave, but with the old-fashioned telephone, instant messaging and Web conferencing services," Yeh said.The instant messaging collaboration, live notifications and live editing will be available to users of the company's Project and Legal Edition on Nov. 17 for no additional charge. For news users, the Project Edition is $20 per user per month, while the Legal Edition is $50 per attorney per month. Voice collaboration will be available in early 2010, but that will cost a premium after a certain amount of usage. PBworks hasn't created a billing system for that yet, which is why users will have to wait until next year to use this capability. PBworks currently hosts over 1 million workspaces for 50,000 businesses, ranging from businesses to consultancy firms and legal houses. The company counts the Mayo Clinic and Federal Express among its customers. PBworks also offers a free version for consumers and a version for school classrooms. Meanwhile, Watchitoo, which has provided real-time video, voice and text chat, embarked on its own real-time collaboration plans for businesses today, allowing people to share documents and broadcast a live Web stream. The document-sharing feature allows individuals to view PDF, Word and PowerPoint documents and work on those files with others. Watchitoo will also let users drag their video chat icon into the main window to begin streaming live. Watchitoo, which hosts its platform or provides it as an embeddable service on any site or through a white-label application, envisions its users as entertainers trying to showcase talent, as well as academics and executives who need to communicate with colleagues from afar.
The company created the solution for law firms and consultancies, which told PBworks they didn't want to set up separate Web and conference calls to work together in real time, Yeh said.